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Cover art by Gladys Jacobson



 

 

 






 

 

 

 


Editor's Note

James R. Adair

I first learned Rachel Carson’s name through several Peanuts cartoons that mentioned her—she was Lucy’s heroine, so much so that she had a baseball bat with Rachel Carson’s name inscribed on it. I remember asking my dad who Rachel Carson was, and he said she had written a book about saving the earth (moms and dads were the Google of the 1960s). Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962, and it became a runaway bestseller. She called out chemical manufacturers for polluting the environment with pesticides—for example, DDT—and endangering the lives of animals and plants. Birds were most notably affected by the overuse of these chemicals. Carson’s book spurred interest in, and in many ways started, the environmental movement in the U.S. In 2006 Discover magazine named it one of the twenty-five most influential science books of all time.

In honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, we have invited the group Stone in the Stream/Roca en el Río, which regularly contributes to Voices de la Luna, to supply eight pages of poetry, prose, and art on environmental themes for this issue. I offer special thanks to Jim LaVilla-Havelin and Mobi Warren for their efforts in gathering and curating the material, and also to all those who contibuted, including our cover artist, Gladys Jacobson.

In addition to our environmental focus, we have an interesting and provocative interview with Chris Tomlinson, one of the authors of the recently published Forget the Alamo (reviewed in the August 2021 issue of Voices), conducted by Voices chair and co-founder, Mo Saidi. They discuss the ways in which historians’ understanding of the Battle of the Alamo is changing as scholars discover new information and reevaluate information already known.

Our featured poet is Sheila Moore, author of seven poetry collections and contributor to numerous literary journals and anthologies. She is also a frequent winner of poetry contests sponsored by the San Antonio Poets Association, the Poetry Society of Texas, and the National Federation of States Poetry Societies.

Several poets in the February issue touch on environmental themes, while others deal with topics such as relationships, living with mental and emotional challenges, memories of war, and the steady progression of life toward its inevitable end.

Voices’s annual fundraiser is quickly approaching (see the Save the Date), and since it is our fourteenth anniversary, which we have dubbed our Sonnet Anniversary, senior editor Carol Coffee Reposa has honored us with an essay comparing Voices to the sonnet, with a bit of the history of sonnets included as well.

We also include three short stories that run the gamut from shamanic journeys to science fiction to navigating life’s transitional moments.

As spring quickly approaches and leaves and flowers begin to reappear, rejoice with us that thanks in part to Rachel Carson, it won’t be silent. But also be aware that environmental challenges still confront people around the world, and envoironmental activists like lawyer Stephen Donziger continue to face arrest and worse as they stand up for the earth and the people who suffer the most from its degradation.

 


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Themes for future issues
May 2022: Gardens
August 2022: Banned Books

Current Voices

 

We Should Never Forget

Sheila Moore

Calendar declares April and the beginning of spring, but morning sun hides its face on this cold, windy day as if ashamed to cast its light of resurrection on such an unspeakable place of horrors, this indelible reminder of man’s inhumanity to man. Overwhelmed with what they see, not even bubbly busloads of German teens filing past row after dreary row of barracks smile or speak. In the midst of this gloom, where thousands of condemned feet once shuffled over worn cobblestones to waiting gas chambers, a single yellow blossom as bright as the star of David has dug tenacious toes into cracked pavement and dared to hoist a small flag of hope, its innocence as buoyant as that of pictures drawn by starving children in the Kinderheim Barracks. Not able to conceive a world devoid of optimism and beauty, they drew a sky filled with birds flying free and a benevolent sun smiling with happiness and love above a make-believe world filled with goodness.

 

 

 

Letting Go

Robin Gara

 

 

 

Mobility

Joseantónio Contreras

An infant lying on its back reaching up, discovering his toes. A wobbling toddler releasing her hand, taking a first, wide-eyed step. A young girl skipping lightly from room to room. A boy zig-zagging a lawn, a little brother in exasperated chase. Adolescents flying down, five or six stairs at a time. A couple gliding across a dance floor in syncopated rhythm. An old woman crossing a street with a cane to balance a dragging foot. A man pushing a walker before him, eight inches at a time. An aide lowering a ramp and loaded wheelchair to sidewalk’s edge. Six men, carrying.

 

 

 

Insect Puppets

Mobi Warren

 

 

 

Infinitives

Jeanne Rana

I. to learn patience to endure to sing in the dark to find meaning in pebbles and sand to think with my feet because cogitation is overrated to stand to sit to lie down, face toward the stars to face morning again to endure II. to compost to drive a hybrid car to measure one’s carbon footprint to collect rainwater in a barrel to plant succulents to shop at thrift stores to Reuse Recycle Repair III. to sing with others to make amends to observe rituals to learn gratitude to forgive to accept to rejoice IV. to glimpse infinity to remain present to be

 

 

 

Art by Lucia LaVilla-Havelin

Poetry by Jim LaVilla-Havelin

 

 

 

Doughboy

Alan Swope

A faded purple box held battle clasps that read Aisne-Marne, Meuse-Argonne, Saint-Mihiel. The khaki Marine uniform, impossibly small, lay in a trunk, acrid with mothballs, a large bronze medal on the pocket with the words The Great War for Civilization. His Great Event. He and other boys in foxholes, wearing shallow bowls on their heads, stopped Germany’s push into France. Later, much later, I knew him as my sad, wrinkled father. Hard to see the Marine, the slender sharpshooter. I measured myself against him then, as men must, and felt the better. Until now, when, running short on future, I take stock. A tarnished medal can’t give a life greater weight, I tell myself. But I fear my footprint will fade before his.

 

 

 

Dinosaur

Gladys Jacobson

 


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